A surfactant dispersed N-doped carbon sphere-poly(vinyl alcohol) composite as relative humidity sensor

  • Bruno B. Cunha
  • Márcia W. C. C. Greenshields
  • Messai A. Mamo
  • Neil J. Coville
  • Ivo A. Hümmelgen


We report on the use of a composite of N-doped carbon spheres dispersed with hexadecyltrimethylammonium bromide in poly(vinyl alcohol) as an active material for thin film relative humidity (RH) sensors prepared on interdigitated electrodes (IDEs) with gaps of 0.1 or 0.3 mm. The sensors respond to RH variations in the range 9–97 RH % presenting sensitivity (relative variation of conductance per RH variation) up to 1.7 × 103 (IDE with gap of 0.1 mm) and 8.7 × 102 (IDE with gap of 0.3 mm). The response times were 19 and 8 s, and the recovery times were 178 and 142 s, respectively.


Surfactant Relative Humidity Vinyl Alcohol Humidity Sensor Carbon Sphere 
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The authors would like to thank CNPq and CAPES (Brazil) and DST-NRF (South Africa) for research grants and fellowships and Rubens L. Camargo for chemicals. We also thank CME-UFPR for SEM images and multiuser confocal microscopy laboratory for optical micrographs.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Bruno B. Cunha
    • 1
  • Márcia W. C. C. Greenshields
    • 1
  • Messai A. Mamo
    • 2
  • Neil J. Coville
    • 3
  • Ivo A. Hümmelgen
    • 1
  1. 1.Departamento de FísicaUniversidade Federal do ParanáCuritibaBrazil
  2. 2.Department of Applied ChemistryUniversity of JohannesburgDoornfonteinSouth Africa
  3. 3.DST/NRF Centre of Excellence in Strong Materials, Molecular Sciences Institute, School of ChemistryUniversity of the WitwatersrandJohannesburgSouth Africa

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